Nosy Be: International tour operators impressed by Madagascar’s tinge of paradise

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Madagascar’s rich tourism offerings were in full display as the country’s National Tourism Board hosted a diverse group of tour operators, agents, and media professionals at the annual Madagascar International Tourism Fair, ITM 2024.

Participants from India, Mauritius, South Africa, and Belgium were invited to explore Nosy Be, Madagascar’s largest and most popular tourist destination, often referred to as the “perfume island.”

Nosy Be, renowned for its production of vanilla and Ylang Ylang—a local plant integral to the perfume industry—offered the visitors a taste of paradise. The tour included visits to several of the island’s picturesque locations such as Nosy Komba, Nosy Iranja, and Nosy Tanikely. Here, the group indulged in sunbathing on pristine beaches, snorkelling in crystal-clear waters, and experiencing the vibrant local culture.

The tour operators were captivated by the island’s unique flora and fauna. They encountered a variety of wildlife, including snakes, tortoises, chameleons, and Madagascar’s iconic lemurs. Highlights of the trip included visits to the Sacred Tree and Marodoka Village, where local women performed traditional dances. The Hell Ville Market showcased a riot of colours and flavours, while the Lokobe Nature Reserve offered further wildlife adventures. The panoramic view from Mont Passot provided a breathtaking finale to the tour of Nosy Be.

Reflecting on their experiences, the operators shared their thoughts with VoyagesAfriq .

Yolanda Kruger, Senior Tour Specialist at Highline Tours and Travel in South Africa highlighted the island’s appeal as a serene escape.

“For me, the experience of the Malagasy people, the hospitality, the warmth, the beautiful beaches, the tranquility of not only the beaches but the village, the Sacred Tree, the untouched nature that is still available to see and experience in Madagascar. I will sell it to my clients as a good alternative to break away from the norm.

Yolanda Kruger, Senior Tour Specialist at Highline Tours and Travel, South Africa

“There’s Wifi but it is not going to consume your life like it does in your everyday life which is good to just switch off and just be. So yes, it’s a different destination to just escape the hustle and bustle of life. It’s also a good destination for city visits and I am definitely going to recommend it five stars.”

Sonia Karnani, Executive Director of Arunodaya Travels in India, praised the island’s natural beauty but noted the need for infrastructure improvements.

“It’s a nice, untouched, beautiful island with lovely beaches. The people are very warm, but it needs a little more work to make it more inviting for travellers. A lot of facilities need to be upgraded, especially the airport, the meals, and the overall look. The hotels are nice, except they need to have a more international feel. The meals, I feel, need to be taken care of.

Sonia Karnani, Executive Director of Arunodaya Travels, India

“There are a lot of vegetarians, so the gastronomical portion also needs attention. The product is beautiful, but it needs to be completely refurbished to enter the international market. For Indians, I can only sell the destination to a very well-travelled person who knows they are looking for nature and the experience.”

For the tour operators, Nosy Be stands out as a destination that promises both tranquillity and adventure. With some enhancements to its infrastructure, it has the potential to become a top choice for international travellers seeking an exotic getaway.

Photos from the fam trip of Nosy Be can be accessed here.

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